Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sabbath - Rest

As I am working towards my New Year's Goal of  keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest and a holy day to the Lord and how to apply that to my own life, I wanted to share these verses with you. 
Like I mentioned in a past post at the beginning of the year, I don't believe we are required to keep the Sabbath in the same manner as the Old Testament believers did. We live in the age of grace, and yet, we still need a day to focus on God, to rest from our work, and regroup. 
Here is what my Sundays have looked like in the past:
  • We go to church in the morning
  • We try to avoid use of the computer, video games, TV and social media before church because I want us to focus on getting ready and keep our minds tuned into the fact that we are supposed to be in worship mode.
  • Often we have guests, mostly kids that come over to play with my kids, occasionally someone who accompanies me to church, or other visitors.
  • I usually cook, either in morning before church to prepare or after we get back. This usually amount in lots of dishes to do and its often 2 or 3 before I am finished.
  • Afternoons are casual for the kids, they play, watch TV, go outdoors, play video games, etc....
  • I usually spend most of the day after dishes, playing catch up... all those things I did not get done during the week or preparing for the upcoming week, making schedules etc... This still boils down to work - even if at times it is just "mind" work.
  • We go to evening church
  • Come home relax, watch TV, get ready for the week, etc
The following is one of the passages I have been looking over this week:


Ezekiel 20:11-20(KJV)

11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.
13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
15 Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:
19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

This is how this passage speaks to me...
  • The Sabbath is special because it is a covenant or a sign between us and God
  • It's a day that should be focused on rest God because He is God
  • It's a day that for us should be different than the way the "world" celebrates the day
  • God wants us to Honor Him
  • The people of Israel refused to do that, they worshiped idols, worked on the Sabbath, and greatly polluted the day - other things to precedence over worship and the call to rest
  • God was merciful with them, gave second chances.... but sadly they continued to refuse 
  • In the end... God releases them to their own demise through the things they think will help them succeed - but will actually destroy them
I find this so sad. When we prioritize things over God, refuse to rest as we should, not only do we not give God the honor He deserves, but we also don't differentiate ourselves from those around us. We end up being just like them. The day becomes like any other ordinary day. 
I do not want my heart to go after my "idols", instead of my Savior.  I do not want to do things my way... and then regret it.

So what are my goals....
  • My main goal is to make my Sabbath a day to prioritize God through worship, rest, refreshing my soul and spending time with my family
  • I would like to have my meal ready ahead of time so my actual work load it minimal. Maybe resort to paper plates so there are not as many dishes to wash...
  • I would like to spend time doing things with my family like a nature walk (pending good weather), playing at the park, putting a puzzle together, game time, doing something nice for someone else, or something different from our ordinary days. Just taking time for each other and sharing God with my children
  • I would love to have a tech free day, little to no computer, TV, or devices. 
How am I working towards achieving this...
  • For starters, I am just working mostly on me.... getting myself in the groove and making small changes in my routine and lifestyle. I want to demonstrate by example not just by giving orders.
  • I am then hoping to implement small, subtle changes into my family's routine. This for me, I think is the hardest part. I want everyone on board, and sometimes others do not have the same goal as I do. So, I am beginning by sharing a devotional with the kids on Saturday nights about the importance of making the Sabbath special, asking for their opinions, and thoughts on the matter. They are a bit leary, especially my son, whose current Sunday routine is going to spend time at his friends house between services and playing video games pretty much all day. It's the only day of the week they get together to do that. I don't want them to be disheartened and end up dreading Sundays instead of loving them.
  • Prayer -  I am praying a lot about this, what God wants me to do, how I can change things without dropping bombshells. I am praying that the hearts of my children will change and they will desire the things of God more than the things of this world and willingly give up their self satisfying desires one day a week to do something that benefits us as a family and honors God.
I know this post is super long.... My apologies. I think I am writing it more to establish my goals, than because I really expect anyone to take the time to read it. I want to be reminded when I look back, at what I desired to do, and what God laid on my heart. If not written, it can be easily forgotten.

Do you have any suggestions? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Should Sabbath be celebrated as a special day that is set apart, or is it ok just to do the same as we do every other day? How do you celebrate the Lord's Day and give honor to Him on that day?

2 comments:

  1. It's definitely not common to take an actual Sabbath. Kudos to you for doing so!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement Bethany. I am finding it a little tough to drop the old habits, but hopefully as I work towards that goal, this will become the new norm.

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